Past Temporary Exhibits

Goppert Foundation gift funds paint restoration on historic caboose

Brightly painted caboose. A "Wet Paint" sign hangs from a barrier in front of it.

If you’re driving down K-68 or pedaling your bike on the Prairie Spirit Trail, you won’t be able to miss the brilliant new paint job on the Old Depot Museum’s 1940s caboose. Thanks to a generous gift from the Goppert Foundation, the Franklin County Historical Society is restoring the exterior paint on the historic 1940s caboose parked on the rails at the Old Depot Museum. Work began this past weekend and will be completed this week, weather permitting. A long and interesting life on the rails Built at the Atchison,…

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November 1: W.H. “Dad” Martin, Photographer, Ottawa, Kansas (online program)

Man and woman sit in an early 1900s automobile. Gigantic eggs fill the back seat and a large potato is strapped to the back. Two children hang from the side.

W.H. “Dad” Martin, Photographer, Ottawa, Kansas presented by Morgan Williams Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 7 p.m. Online via Zoom of Facebook Live The life and times of W. H. “Dad” Martin as a photographer, world’s champion creator and publisher of exaggeration photo postcards, highway sign manufacturer, and philanthropist in Ottawa, Kansas. Martin from 1908-1910 created over 60 exaggerated photographic images showing farming, fishing and hunting in Franklin County, Kansas. He produced, through his Martin Post Card Company, more that 8 million real photo postcards in Ottawa, Kansas. The program will…

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October 21: Chamber Coffee @ FCHS Archives & Research Center

Bookcases filled with books. Tables and chairs. File cabinets. Large prints of historic photos in the background.

Chamber Coffee Friday, October 21, 2022, 8 a.m. FCHS Archives & Research Center 2011 East Logan Street, Ottawa, Kansas 66067   We’re excited to share our new location with you! Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Franklin County Historical Society’s Archives & Research Center and learn more about how we hope to use our new space. For more information, call (785) 242-1232 or e-mail Diana Staresinic-Deane.

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NEW DATE – October 23: Dress for Success: Nelly Don and American Fashion (in-person program)

Image shows fashion sketch of women's clothing

Dress for Success: Nelly Don and American Fashion Presented by Marla Day Sunday, October 9, 2022, October 23, 2022, 2 p.m. Greenwood Community Center 2705 Florida Rd, Pomona, Kansas 66076 NEW DATE: Due to an unforeseen illness, this program has been postponed and will be held on Sunday, October 23. You can’t mention 20th-century women’s wear without thinking of Nelly Don. The Parsons native built a fashion empire on the vision that women deserved affordable, stylish clothing regardless of means or status. From humble beginnings, Don built a company that…

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Summer 2022: 1859 Dietrich Cabin Tours

Image shows a stone fireplace. A large gold-framed wedding photo of a couple rests on a mantel. The fireplace is surrounded by household items common in the 1800s.

1859 Dietrich Cabin Tours First Saturday in June, July, & August, 10 a.m. to Noon Dietrich Cabin is reopening for tours! Originally located southwest of present-day Princeton, Dietrich Cabin was built in 1859 by German immigrants Jacob and Catherine Dietrich, who came to Franklin County in 1857. A century later, descendants of the family donated the cabin to the Franklin County Historical Society, and the cabin was moved to City Park. The cabin represents the story of the Dietrich family and hundreds of other early settlers who came to Franklin…

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August 14, 2022: Tattooed: The Tale of Maud Wagner

Text reads Tattooed The Tale of Maud Wagner. Image is of a woman in a sequined strapless dress and dark hair upswept with a flower. The woman's skin is covered in tattoos of plants and people.

Tattooed: The Tale of Maud Wagner presented by Lisa Soller August 14, 2022, 2 p.m. Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 South Hickory Street, Ottawa, Kansas Born in Emporia, Kansas, in 1877, Maud Stevens left home at the age of 19 to join the circus. While working as an aerialist and contortionist at Louisiana Purchase Exposition (also known as the St. Louis World’s Fair), she met and married Gus “The Globe Trotter” Wagner, a “most artistically marked up man” who would collect more than 800 tattoos during his lifetime. Soon covered in…

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July 17, 2022 Program: Architecture of the People’s Houses

Sepia-toned photo of the Franklin County Courthouse, a three-story brick and stone victorian building. Inset: graphic of a man with dark hair and a beard. Humanities Kansas logo.

Architecture of the People’s Houses presented by Murl Riedel Sunday, July 17, 2022, 2 p.m. Ottawa Memorial Auditorium, 301 South Hickory, Ottawa, Kansas Kansas has 105 county courthouses and hundreds of city halls, plus a few more state capitals than you might expect. The manifestation of the greatest ideals occurs in these buildings, where the work of the people’s democracy is in action. The designs of these buildings tell us about the evolution of local government in the state. Larger societal issues, such as the Free State and the Civil…

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May 7, 2022: New traveling exhibit tells story of self-rule among Indigenous nations

Group of Kickapoo Indians, standing outside tent, dressed in Euro-American clothing

Image: Members of the Kiwigapawa (Kickapoo) tribe standing outside a tent, dressed in Euro-American clothing. 1909. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/97512086/   A new traveling exhibit explores how Indigenous nations expressed autonomy during their years in “Indian Territory” Kansas. “Living Sovereignty: Sustaining Indigenous Autonomy in ‘Indian Territory’ Kansas” will open at the Old Depot Museum on Saturday, May 7. For generations before European and American settlement, Indigenous nations and tribes embodied sovereignty—the right to self-rule. Maintaining that sense of self-rule and self-government through years of interactions with the…

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February 8, 2022: Osage Women, Gender, & Empire

An Osage Woman holds her child.

Osage Women, Gender, & Empire Presented by Dr. Tai Edwards Recording Available   Historian Dr. Tai Edwards will speak on the research she has conducted for numerous publications (including her book) on Osage Women and Empire: Gender and Power. She will address aspects of colonialism and its impact, Indigenous power, and gender roles in the context of the Osage experience in modern-day Missouri and Kansas. Dr. Edwards is a history professor at Johnson County Community College. Her research and teaching focus on empire, Indigenous peoples, gender, and disease. She is…

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NEW DATE February 6, 2022: Santa Fe depot architecture subject of virtual annual meeting

A train is pulled in to a Santa Fe depot. the Santa Fe logo and "Princeton" are visible under the gable of the depot's roof. People are gathered on the platform between the depot and the train. Passengers can be seen inside the train.

“Santa Fe Depots: Form and Function,” presented by Bob Walz 85th Annual Meeting of the Members of the Franklin County Historical Society  Recording Available   Update: In deference to our Chiefs fans, we are moving our program to February 6, 2022, 2 p.m.  What exactly is a depot and what is it for? Using images of depots along the Eastern and Western Lines of the AT&SF Railroad, Bob Walz will examine the history of the development of Santa Fe depots, from repurposed boxcars to large, ornate depots and everything in…

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